Sally Eyring is a renaissance woman. She is equal parts studio artist in glass and fibers, innovator of 3-D loom techniques and fibre de verre glass casting techniques, proficient educator in local and national weaving guilds, and ESL teacher and activist.
Eyring has always loved to make things with her hands — weaving, sewing and working with clay were her earliest creative outlets. She got her start in life as a high school math teacher but successfully transitioned out of education into a high-tech and much more lucrative career as an IT manager.
In 2002, she became awestruck by one of John La Farge’s windows in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston called “Peonies Blown in the Wind,” and she was hooked. That led her to study at the Corning Museum of Glass in upstate New York with Kimiake and Shin-ichi Higuchi, both of whom are world-renowned pâte de verre artists. When she retired in 2005, she went back to school full time, first at Mass College of Art and Design and later at Lesley University to complete her MFA, thus combining her two loves: glass casting and weaving.
She took classes at Mass Art to learn more about glass, but most of their teaching was focused on glass blowing and other hot working techniques. Eyring was interested in warm glass and working with techniques such as kiln cast glass and pâte de verre. She went on to innovate in her studio practice and create a new technique she calls fibre de verre, a process that causes the glass to pull apart into layers connected by delicate glass fibers.
While taking classes in fibers at Mass Art, Eyring took her teacher’s challenge to break out of the rectangular form seriously. Typically, one might think of 3-D weaving as basket making, but she was interested in discovering options to create shapes on a hand-weaving loom. 3-D weaving with X, Y and Z axes has industrial, construction and military applications, but it is not often seen in the fine art or the hand weaving world because it requires complex industrial machines. Eyring developed methods to weave shapes and dimensional forms on a hand-weaving loom and now teaches these techniques nationally.